My continuing saga of back pain continues... (sung to the tune of "Twelve Days of Christmas"):
9 months of chiro,
8 weeks of physical therapy,
7 days a week of pain,
6 back-strengthening exercises daily,
5 days of anti-inflammatories,
4 doctor visits,
3 places that hurt,
2 orthopedic referrals,
and1 session of laser acupunture
So I went back to my MD after 8 weeks of physical therapy (after 9 months of chiropractic treatments). I am now super-strong, but still in pain. He asked if I was taking the anti-inflammatories. I murmured something about not wanting the mask the symptoms (how would I know if I was getting better?). I could see he was not approving of this, so I promised him I would take them. Who knows? I'd kick myself if they worked after all I've gone through.
He also basically scratched his head and said "I dunno". He has no idea why my back hurts. He referred me to an orthopedist.
I started taking the anti-inflammatories about one week ago. The label is daunting: drinking alcohol with these can make your liver bleed; sun exposure can result in sunburn and blisters; dizziness, nausea, headaches. Great. Let's trade the bad for the worst. But I wanted to give it a shot.
RESULT: Nothing. NOTHING. No difference in the pain at ALL. NONE. I feel dizzy all day long (big fun) and I've noticed that my moods are swinging up and down, left and right. It freaked me out so much today, that I just quit taking them. No results in one week = I've tried it.
My chiropractor called to check on me and I gave her the scoop. I'd cheated on her - been to the physical therapist, but to no avail. What she did didn't work, what the PT was doing didn't work. Woe is me. She said she had a laser acupuncture machine that she thought I should try. I told her I was out of insurance money to pay for anything like that (another fun side effect of all this crap). She said, "the first one's on me" and told me I would be able to tell whether it would work or not from that. Hmmm...a freebie. Sounds like a drug dealer, huh? But I'm willing to give anything a shot at this point. Voodoo dolls. Shark cartilage. Pacts with the devil. Whatever.
The laser acupuncture was easy. Unlike regular acupunture, there are no giant scary needles, so that was a big plus. I didn't feel anything right off the bat, but the next day (today) I can tell a teensy, tiny difference. I don't know if it's just wishful thinking, or something good. So...
I called the orthopedist referral today. The nasty phone answering lady heard the word "back" and said, "We don't treat backs. If your back is the problem, you'll have to go somewhere else." I think she could have been a bit nicer, but I was still dizzy from the anti-inflammatories, so I just hung up. I got another ortho referral that I haven't called yet.
What's next? I had a colleague mention something called IMT (Integrated Manual Therapy). Hell, why not try it? At a minimum, it's a new experience. Groan.